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Wednesday 21st of April 2021
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The Traditions and the matter of Repentance

The Traditions and the matter of Repentance

The Traditions and the matter of Repentance

Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir (s) has said,

‘Adam has said, ‘O my Lord, You have empowered the Satan over me and made him as the flow of the blood in me. O my Lord, do me something!’ Allah said, ‘O Adam, I have granted you that whoever of your progeny intends to do an evil, it will not be written against him but if he commits it, it will be written as one evil and whoever intends to do a good deed without doing it, it will be written for him as one good deed and if he does it, it will be written for him as ten good deeds.’ Adam said, ‘O my Lord, grant me more!’ Allah said, ‘I have granted you that whoever of your progeny does an evil and then asks for forgiveness, his evil will be forgiven.’ Adam said, ‘O my Lord, grant me more!’ Allah said, ‘I have granted your progeny repentance until the moment of death.’ Adam said, ‘O my Lord, this suffices me.’[1]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) narrates that the Prophet (s) has said, ‘Whoever repents a year before his death Allah accepts his repentance.’ Then he said, ‘A year is too much. Whoever repents a month before his death Allah accepts his repentance.’ Then he said, ‘A month is too much. Whoever repents a week before his death Allah accepts his repentance.’ Then he said, ‘A week is too much. Whoever repents a day before his death Allah accepts his repentance.’ Then he said, ‘A day is too much. Whoever repents before (the moment) he sees the angel of death Allah accepts his repentance.’[2]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘Allah accepts the repentance of His servant even before he breathes his last. Turn to your Lord before you die and hasten to do good deeds before you become busy (with other things) and keep what is between you and your Lord by mentioning Him too much.’[3]

It is narrated that Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘There is no intercessor more successful than repentance.’[4]

And the Prophet (s) has said, ‘Repentance cancels all what is (committed) before it.’[5]

Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘Repentance calls down mercy.’[6]

He has also said, ‘Turn to Allah and enter into His love because Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves. The believers turn much to Allah.’[7]

Imam ar-Redha (s) has narrated from his fathers that the Prophet (s) had said, ‘A believer near Allah is like a close angel. A believer near Allah is greater than this and nothing is more beloved to Allah than a repentant believing man or a repentant believing woman.’[8]

Imam are-Redha (s) has also narrated from his fathers that the Prophet (s) had said, ‘A repentant of sin is like one who has not committed a sin.’[9]

It is narrated that Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said, ‘Sincere repentance is that one repents of a sin and determines not to come back to it again.’[10]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘Allah is happier with the repentance of His servant than a sterile man when begetting a child, than a lost one when finding his destination and than a thirsty one when reaching a drinking fountain.’[11]

He has also said, ‘A repentant, if the effect of repentance does not appear on him, is not repentant. He should satisfy his litigants, offer his wasted prayers, be humble among people, keep himself away from lusts and emaciate his neck by fasting in the days.’[12]

Ameerul Mo’mineen (Imam Ali) (s) has said, ‘Repentance is regretting in the heart, asking (Allah) for forgiveness by the tongue, giving up (sins) by the organs and intending not to come back (to sins) again.’[13]

He has also said, ‘Whoever turns to Allah, Allah turns to him and his organs are ordered to cover his sins, the lands to conceal his sins and the guardians (angels) are made forget what they have written against him.’[14]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said, ‘Allah the Almighty has revealed to His prophet Dawood (David): if My faithful servant commits a sin and then turns and repents of that sin and becomes shy of Me when mentioning Me, I will forgive him and make the guardians (angels) forget (what they have written against him) and I change his evils into good deeds…and I am the most Merciful of the merciful ones.’[15]

In an important tradition the Prophet (s) has said, ‘Do you know who a repentant is?’ His companions said, ‘By Allah, no, we do not.’ He said, ‘If one repents without satisfying his litigants, he is not repentant. Whoever repents without increasing his worship is not repentant. Whoever repents without changing his cloths (conducts) is not repentant. Whoever repents without changing his companions is not repentant. Whoever repents without changing his meetings is not repentant. Whoever repents without changing his bed and pillow is not repentant. Whoever repents without changing his morals and intent is not repentant. Whoever repent without opening his heart and giving with his hand generously is not repentant. Whoever repents without repressing his wishes and controlling his tongue is not repentant. Whoever repents without gifting the further power of his body is not repentant. If he does these things, he will be repentant.’[16]

What has been mentioned in this important tradition concerning the state of changing is something very important especially the things that one gains from unlawful sources or through unlawful relations.

The advantages of repentance

Repentance has very important advantages in the worldly life and the in afterlife mentioned in the Qur’anic verses especially the verses concerning repenting of sins and also the honorable traditions narrated from Ahlul Bayt (s). Here we mention some of these advantages:

Allah has said,

“…Ask forgiveness of your Lord, surely He is the most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain and help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers.” Qur'an, 71:10-12

“O you who believe, turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow.” Qur'an, 66:8

Most of the verses concerning repentance end with the two attributes “Forgiver” and “Merciful”. It means that Allah grants a true repentant with His forgiveness and mercy.[17]

“And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth.” Qur'an, 7:96

In Tafseer Majma’ul Bayan an important and attractive tradition has been mentioned that once a man has come to Imam al-Hasan (s) complaining to him of barrenness. Imam al-Hasan (s) said to him, ‘Ask Allah to forgive you!’ Another one came to him complaining of poverty. Imam al-Hasan (s) said to him, ‘Ask Allah to forgive you!’ A third one came to him saying, ‘Pray Allah to grant me a son!’ Imam al-Hasan said to him, ‘Ask Allah to forgive you!’ The people there said to Imam al-Hasan (s), ‘Some men came to you complaining and asking for different things but you ordered them all to ask Allah for forgiveness.’ He said, ‘I have not said that out of myself but I followed the saying of Allah when mentioning the story of Prophet Noah (s) where he said to his people,

“…Ask forgiveness of your Lord, surely He is the most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain and help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers.” Qur'an, 71:10-12[18]

Anyhow what is understood from the Holy Qur'an and the noble traditions is that the advantages of repentance are: omitting sins, the Divine pardoning and forgiving, the Divine mercy, being safe from the torment of the hereafter, deserving to enter Paradise, safety of the soul, purity of the heart and the organs, being away from scandal, falling of rains, abundance of wealth and children, growing of gardens and flowing of rivers, disappearance of barrenness and poverty…



[1] Al-Kafi, vol.2 p.440, Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.18.

[2] Al-Kafi, vol.2 p.440.

[3] Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.19.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mizan al-Hikma, vol.1 p.338.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.21.

[8] Uyoon Akbar ar-Redha, p.198.

[9] Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.21.

[10] Biharul Anwar, vol. 6, p.22.

[11] Mizan al-Hikma, vol.1 p.338.

[12] Jami’ul Akhbar, p.226.

[13] Biharul Anwar, vol. 78 p.81.

[14] Thawabul A’mal, vol.1 p.214.

[15] Ibid., p.125.

[16] Biharul Anwar, vol. 6 p.35.

[17] Refer to the Qur'an,3:89, 5:34, 7:153, 9:102, 24:5.

[18] Majma’ul Bayan, vol. 10 p.361.

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